Video: Steve Whitmire on The Today Show July 20, 2017

Phillip

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Steve Whitmire will be on The Today Show show this morning. Be sure to tune-in and let us know your thoughts on the appearance. He'll be appearing at approximately 8 central, 9 eastern.



Here's video from this morning's appearance. Let us know your thoughts.


 
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dwayne1115

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I'm not able to watch the apperance, but like I said on Facebook. What more could have been said, and this better not further delay The Muppet Thought of The Week.
 

Angelo Thomas

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I wasn't sure how to feel about Steve being fired at first, but the more that comes out about the situation, the less sympathy I feel for him. Everything Lisa and Brian Henson have said about working with him is consistent with Disney's reasons for firing him. He was Jim's successor in the sense that he took on the role of Kermit the Frog, but his role with the Muppets has never gone beyond being a performer. I understand he feels attached to the character after being the sole performer of Kermit for so many years, but it sounds like he was very difficult to work with and crossed some boundaries he shouldn't have crossed.

Steve said "I am Kermit, and Kermit is me," but that isn't true. Kermit and the Muppets are bigger and better than one performer, and I'm ready for this to blow over and to move past the behind-the-scenes drama. I have no reason to believe that Matt Vogel won't be a terrific replacement, and I look forward, as always, to seeing what the future has in store for the Muppets.
 

Muppetboy09

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I feel like Steve played it safe in this interview (which is good) by not directly addressing specific people. That would just draw even more attention to the drama. But I still feel that if Steve was being difficult and demanding like the Hensons have said, he will never say he was. Not because he is lying, but I genuinely think that in his mind, he believes everything he did was for the best of the Muppets.
 

D'Snowth

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I wasn't sure how to feel about Steve being fired at first, but the more that comes out about the situation, the less sympathy I feel for him. Everything Lisa and Brian Henson have said about working with him is consistent with Disney's reasons for firing him.
But I still feel that if Steve was being difficult and demanding like the Hensons have said, he will never say he was. Not because he is lying, but I genuinely think that in his mind, he believes everything he did was for the best of the Muppets.
That's what I was saying yesterday in the other thread: the more this plays out, the more I'm thinking there has to be some truth to what everyone is saying against Steve, because we've got Disney, the Henson family, and even fellow performers like Rick Lyon coming forward and saying the same, if not incredibly similar stories; Steve, meanwhile, has been going on damage control ever since, and for every accusation they make, he immediately has something to say in his defense about it.

I'm certainly not trying to throw any shade at Steve, but as this continues to play out, I'm starting to feel more and more like he's the one who isn't being entirely honest about his side of the story.
 

RowlfFan12

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I love Steve, but I'm not sure if I can watch this. I wish this all would just fade away. We know both sides, now let's just leave it.
 

FletchySRF3088

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I thought I couldn't watch the videos. But I managed to anyway. It still just breaks my heart. All of this still doesn't feel real to me. It feels like an extremely bad nightmare I'm desperate to wake up from. I don't know what to believe anymore. I think what really hit me the hardest is Brian Henson (someone who I love just as much as Steve) coming out and saying he's wanted to get rid of Steve since the mid-90's. WHY THE **** KEEP HIM ON AND WORK WITH HIM ALL THESE YEARS IF THAT WAS THE CASE THEN?!?!

I don't know Steve personally, I'm not saying he's a saint, but watching him in that video, I just can't imagine him being any these things that the Hensons and Rick Lyon have accused him of being. Granted, the blog post defending his "business conduct" did give a slightly bitter vibe, but all I see from watching this interview is a genuinely nice, soft spoken guy in tears over losing something that meant so much to him.

To see Brian's recent comments, and his, Cheryl, Lisa and Rick Lyons' criticisms and dissatisfaction over his Kermit performances - Rick even saying he was never a "right fit" for Kermit or a good enough actor! - it's all very... disillusioning. That's the only word I can think of to describe it really.

After all these years seeing Steve only get better as Kermit, making him his own in my eyes. Yes, Kermit is Jim's character and always will be. But a performer and an actor will always put a bit of themselves into any character they play - and I don't think these recast situations of well-known, beloved characters are any exception. There are parts of Steve that became part of Kermit, and maybe even parts of Kermit that became part of Steve. After all that hard work, and being under the impression that the Hensons - or Brian at least - were happy with Steve's work and making Jim proud, to find out that that apparently was never the case and they hated him (?!)... again, this all feels like a nightmare. I don't know what to think anymore. It feels so bitter. A harsh, unhappy ending to what seemed like an incredible journey and career with The Muppets. I still can't process it.

Sorry, I'm trying my best to articulate exactly what it is I'm feeling. Hopefully it's clear enough. Honestly, these last two weeks have just been devastating for me. This past week especially! Whether or not what's been said about Steve is true, I will miss him so much. I honestly think if this had been any other performer, it wouldn't feel AS heartbreaking as it does right now. Don't get me wrong, I love all the performers. But of all of them, I could NEVER imagine ALL THIS happening to Steve! He's always been one of my heroes and an influence to me. His work has always given me a smile when I needed it most. So it all just feels like a nightmare and I'm waiting for that alarm clock to start going and wake me up. But it won't. It's real. One of the worst scenarios for Muppet fans to go through suddenly becoming a harsh, bitter reality.

I just hope Steve is ok and pulls through. Whatever awaits him, I hope it's a new, happy road for him. I hope Matt is ok and has an incredible ride ahead of him with Kermit. After constantly shining with the work he's done with Jerry's characters, he deserves this and regardless of whether he'll sound exactly like Kermit straight away, I know he'll do a great job. I couldn't be happier for him.

Anyway, sorry, I know this isn't exactly the happiest post to read! I guess I needed to get this off my chest haha.
 

cjd874

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So Disney and the Muppets Studio say that Steve's "repeated unacceptable business conduct" continued over many years? Why wouldn't they have sacked him earlier then? And according to Cheryl Henson, Steve played Kermit as a "bitter, angry, depressed victim." I'm sure that her father would not have wanted Steve to do such a thing, and Steve himself said that he has always tried his best to carry out what was best for the Muppets and to carry on with Jim's legacy. I swear that there is almost more back-and-forth action here than at a Wimbledon match.
 

Mo Frackle

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So Disney and the Muppets Studio say that Steve's "repeated unacceptable business conduct" continued over many years? Why wouldn't they have sacked him earlier then?
Quote from Pig's Laundry on the other board related to this topic.

Well, over on the Tough Pigs forum, someone said something that made a lot of sense. The Muppets lost Jim at the very beginning of the 90s, and then Richard Hunt just two years later, and Frank Oz was performing less and less. They were effectively missing three of their most important players, and several key characters. If they had fired Steve, than Jerry Nelson and Dave Goelz would've been the only guys left that worked with Jim, and even more characters might've gone missing. Not to mention, i'm sure that would've been terrible for morale.

And, i'm just adding my two cents here, almost as soon as the 90s were over, the JHC was sold and was in really deep poop. They sold the Muppets to Disney, and during that transitional period i'm sure it would've been unimaginable not to have guys like Steve and Dave around to keep things afloat. And on top of that, they were hardly doing anything with the characters until about 2008.
 

JimAndFrank

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I wasn't sure how to feel about Steve being fired at first, but the more that comes out about the situation, the less sympathy I feel for him. Everything Lisa and Brian Henson have said about working with him is consistent with Disney's reasons for firing him. He was Jim's successor in the sense that he took on the role of Kermit the Frog, but his role with the Muppets has never gone beyond being a performer. I understand he feels attached to the character after being the sole performer of Kermit for so many years, but it sounds like he was very difficult to work with and crossed some boundaries he shouldn't have crossed.

Steve said "I am Kermit, and Kermit is me," but that isn't true. Kermit and the Muppets are bigger and better than one performer, and I'm ready for this to blow over and to move past the behind-the-scenes drama. I have no reason to believe that Matt Vogel won't be a terrific replacement, and I look forward, as always, to seeing what the future has in store for the Muppets.
To be fair, when Steve said, "I am Kermit and Kermit is me," the presenter's voice-over cut off the 'but' following the statement. Steve added something to the sentence and we didn't get to hear it. That's why I haven't taken much stock in it.
 
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